Gloria Adams, owner of Essential Medical Center in Lafayette, pleaded guilty Tuesday in federal court, admitting to her role in a profit-making conspiracy involving the filling and selling of prescriptions without doctor supervision, according to a press release issued by U.S. Attorney Stephanie Finley’s office.

Adams, 63, opened Essential Medical Center in 2005. Despite not being a doctor, court records show Adams admitted to dispensing Xanax and Lortab — both listed as Controlled Dangerous Substances — to patients through her business, using an informal system called “pre-signing.”

According to Tuesday’s release:
Pre-signing took place at the clinic when some non-physician staff used pre-signed documents to dispense prescriptions to patients while doctors were absent. [Adams] also admitted that she aided and abetted the practice of dispensing CDS outside the scope of professional practice and not for a legitimate medical purpose. Adams also admitted to using $15,917 in proceeds derived from the illegal sale of controlled substances to engage in a monetary transaction through a financial institution.

By pleading guilty to one count of money laundering and one count of unlawful dispensing of controlled substances, Adams faces imprisonment of up to 20 years and fines of up to $500,000. Adams, who was indicted with co-conspirators Dr. Kasimu Moody, Dr. Toland Ash and Patrick Smith on May 12, 2011, is scheduled for an Aug. 8 sentencing hearing before U.S. District Court Judge Elizabeth Foote.

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